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A view from Garra de Leons clubhouse.
as they say but nonetheless, the longer you linger the more you'll feel the charm of this tiny port city. By traveling west through Paquera you will find Vainilla, Pochote, Tambor, Cobano, Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. By traveling north through Paquera you will find Playa Gigante, Playa Naranjo and Jicarel.




Vainilla

Hotel Posada del Sol, Hacienda Pinilla.
Tucked away in the mountains that skirt Bahia Ballena (Whale's Bay) you'll find Vainilla. Actually, unless you're really looking for Vainilla, you probably won't find it at all. If traveling from Paquera to Tambor and you miss an obvious left turn, then you might end up in Vainilla. Vainilla is a small pueblo mostly known for their soccer tournaments (Futbol down here) and their yearly festival. Located roughly 5 minutes from Tambor and 2 minutes from Pochote, Vainilla is a fantastic town to explore by horseback.
The Garra de Leon club house.
They could take a picture of Vainilla and stick it on a postcard with the catch phrase, "Peaceful Costa Rican Pueblo" and that would sum it up nicely. There is one local store here in Vainilla and that pretty well sums up the commercial side of things. Surrounded by large farms and beautiful mountains, Vainilla is definitely worth the trip for those interested in relaxing day of exploring. If you want to go out and really not find anything (and ensure that no one will find you) take a few hours in the little town of Vainilla...it'll be well worth it.

Pochote

Sculpture Whale Bones in La Sabana.
Pochote is another small pueblo on the northern corner of Bahia Ballena. The main difference from Pochote and other small Pueblos of Costa Rica is that Pochote is actually on the water. Home to many fisherman and beach goers alike, Pochote is a great little place to have a drink on the beach. Here in Pochote, the ocean forms an estuary which drastically changes the local flora and fauna. In some parts, Pochote turns to a near swamp-like environment catering to several wild species of birds, fish and wild flowers. Most boating tours and horseback tours start, stop or finish in Pochote. If you're staying in Tambor, odds are you'll end up having dinner or a cocktail on the beach in Pochote but you may not even know it.

Tambor

Hotel Don Carlos stairs leading through the hotel.
Tambor is the prominent fishing village located centrally in Bahia Ballena. This gorgeous, quaint little town is fully embraced by the majestic beaches of the bay. If staying in Tambor it would be very difficult to avoid being on the beach at some point in your trip. With the calm, Caribbean-like waters of the bay to the east and the droves of Howler monkeys in the mountains and jungle canopy above, it is no wonder that Tambor quickly becomes a favorite. There are many activities to keep you outdoors in Tambor; tennis, horseback riding, swimming, golfing, hiking, fishing, waterfalls, power gliding, eating, drinking...I think you get my point. When staying in Tambor, make sure you check out the dance night on Thursday nights. Tambor is famous for its Thursday night parties on the beach and it attracts visitors from all neighboring towns and villages. It is a different venue than what you're probably used to but be prepared for lots of drinks, local

Read more:

- Page 1 / Nicoya Peninsula, Pequera.
- Page 2 / Vainilla, Pochote, Tambor.
- Page 3 / Panica, Cobano.
- Page 4 / Montezuma, Cabuya, Mal Pais.
- Page 5 / Santa Teresa.

- Download About the Nicoya Peninsula (PDF)